King Kev refuses to talk up possible Orient play-off push
Kevin Lisbie was named the League One player of the month for November last week in acknowledgment of his fine form during Leyton Orient’s recent eight-match winning run – but the forward insists expectation levels remain low at Brisbane Road this season.
The former Charlton striker netted his ninth goal of the campaign in Saturday’s disappointing 3-1 home defeat by Scunthorpe, which ended the O’s best period of form in more than 50 years.
Despite the setback, Orient remain in the top-half of the table and six points from a play-off place.
But Lisbie insists the squad are not getting carried away, regardless of their new-found confidence.
“We have no expectations,” he said. “I’m not going to be tempted in to talking about getting into the play-offs – absolutely no chance.
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“The league ends in April, so we’ll have a look then.
“Last season we were struggling, we didn’t have 31 points until the last couple of months of the season. Now we’ve got it in December, but we’ll work our way to 40 and go from there.”
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Such is the change in morale around east London, the home supporters – a group who tend to let the manager know when they disapprove – stayed behind on Saturday to clap the players off after a disappointing defeat to a side battling relegation.
Their mood has been helped with the team finally fulfilling its potential. The goalkeeper is dependable, the back four – albeit minus captain Nathan Clarke due to injury – looks rock solid.
The midfield unit is full of creativity, but it is the form of the front two that have really captured the imagination.
Lisbie and David Mooney have grown into one of the most feared strike partnerships in the division – having netted 16 goals between them in the last nine fixtures.
And Lisbie is keen to praise his fellow forward wherever possible.
“I think the fans are starting to appreciate the work he [Mooney] does and I sure do as well,” added the 34-year-old.
“This year he has really stepped up. He’s strong and he’s getting goals too, which is good for him. It’s a good partnership.”